Inside this
4 Meet Indiegogo
7 What is crowdfunding?
8 Why Indiegogo?
10 Preparing your campaign
12 Creating your campaign
21 Launching your campaign – and keeping momentum
25 Wrapping it up
In January 2008, Slava Rubin, Danae
Ringelmann and Eric Schell traveled to the
Sundance Film Festival. Frustrated by their
own inability to raise capital through traditional
means, their arrival at the noted independent
festival heralded a new, democratic era of flm
fnance. There, while camped out at the Red
Banjo on Main Street, the trio of entrepreneurs
launched the very frst crowdfunding platform
– Indiegogo.
Six years later, Indiegogo remains a truly open
and global platform, enabling projects to run and
raise funds in over 200 countries and territories
around the world. During that time, Indiegogo’s
platform has helped thousands of flms earn
funding. We’re available in four languages
(English, French, German and Spanish) and
capable of funding in fve currencies (US
dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars,
euros and pound sterling), making Indiegogo
more accessible than any other platform of its
kind. We also retain ofces in New York and
Los Angeles, in addition to our San Francisco
Through the power of our flm community,
flmmakers have premiered projects at
Sundance, TIFF, SXSW, Cannes, Tribeca, Hot
Docs, LA Film Fest and dozens more festivals
around the world. We’ve seen campaigners win
an Oscar and Best Documentary at Sundance,
named a “Director to Watch” by Variety, and
receive Audience Awards at SXSW several times
over. Even more were picked up for distribution
by Magnolia, IFC, HBO, CNN, Tribeca Film and
Lionsgate – the latter providing the largest
release for a crowdfunded flm, Dear White
This is Indiegogo. Now let’s get started.
What is
Crowdfunding is the process of raising money
online through contributions made by many
diferent people who share the same passion
for your project. Crowdfunding may also often
involve a “perk” in exchange for contributing.

• Increased access to social networks
• Repeated engagement with fans amplifes
• Feedback from early customers and followers
• Access to insightful data
• Retention of creative control
• Keep what you raise with Flexible Funding.
• Low fees (just 4% when you hit your goal).
• Breadth of payment options (PayPal; credit
• Receive PayPal contributions right away.
• Accessibility (224 countries and territories; 5
currencies; 4 languages).
• A Trust & Safety team.
• More than 9 million unique monthly visitors.
• Comprehensive educational materials and an
exceptional Customer Happiness Team.
Your Campaign
The best way to start is to see what other
successful flm campaigns have done. For
inspiration, you can browse current flm projects
Have a blog of your own? Write your thoughts
on the latest camera technology, or post a
compelling list of movies that inspired you on
your own flmmaking path. Anything that could
potentially open doors will help once you’re
ready to launch on Indiegogo.

Tap into various flm communities, especially
on Twitter. Two of the most supportive groups
for crowdfunding are #supportindieflm and
our very own #gogoflm. You can also fnd really
awesome flmmakers to follow and tweet with by
searching for #indieflm, #flmmaking, and other
relevant hashtags.
Be positive and personable with your online
persona. Remember, you’re building social
bridges that will lead those flmmakers and
enthusiasts to fund your next project.
Gathering a following takes time. As they say,
Rome wasn’t built in a day – and they’re right.
Set aside a few months. It will pay of in the long
run. We promise!
Putting Together
Your Team
The Team of We Love Paleo, a feature documentary exploring why the
Paleo diet is believed the best for optimal human health.
As with putting together the right flm crew,
having a proper campaign team is key.
Interestingly, teams of two or more people
typically generate 94% more funding than
projects run by a single campaigner. Find
people who can help you with specifc aspects
of the campaign – for example, a friend who
specializes in social media or graphic design.
It’s also important to make sure your Indiegogo
profles are up-to-date and complete with
photos, bios, Facebook and email verifcation,
and contact info. The more transparent you are,
the more the crowd will trust you to use their
money wisely.
For even more “before the campaign” advice,
check out the Indiegogo Playbook.
Your Campaign
Once you establish your community and team,
it’s time to take the next step and create a
campaign. While it may seem daunting, fear not!
The process is simple.
1. The Pitch Video
2. The Pitch Text
3. The Perks
Let’s start with the video.
Your Pitch Video
The pitch video is the single most important
element of your flm campaign. It’s essentially
the elevator pitch you’d give to Harvey Weinstein
while traveling from the lobby to the penthouse.
You’ve got that much time to get across who
you are, what your flm idea is, and why people
should care about your project enough to help
you fund it.
The truth is that not many people will give
money if you only post a set photograph or a
flm trailer. A trailer is a sales tool, not a pitch
tool. It’s designed to make people want to see
your flm, not fund it. In other words, Do Not Use
A Film Trailer or Scene as your video.
People give to other people, not necessarily to
projects. Many flmmakers make the mistake of
not appearing in their pitch videos. Be. In. Your.
Pitch. Video. Say a few words to your potential
funders, be as personable as possible, and
chances are you’ll be rewarded.
Looking for statistics? Campaigns with a pitch
video raise an average of 114% more than
campaigns that don’t. In other words, have a
pitch video. And don’t make it too long! It’s a
pitch, not a dissertation. Keep your video fun,
loose, informative, and from 2 ½ to 3 minutes in
1. Introduction
Tell us about yourself.
2. Pitch
Tell us about your flm project, and include the
• Logline – What’s your story in one
sentence? Be succinct here, and feel free to
add details later.
• Purpose – What’s the point of the
campaign? Is it for production? Post-
production? Theatrical distribution?
• Perks – What’s something unique you’re
ofering in return? Entice your funders.
3. Showcase
Show us what you can do as a flmmaker. Maybe
share a few clips of your past work, or some
footage from the project at hand.
4. Call to Action
Don’t leave your crowd hanging. You need to tell
them what to do next – and that’s to contribute.
Your Pitch Text
Wong Fu Productions’ First Feature Film, a campaign fnancing the frst
movie based on the flmmakers’ popular YouTube channel, shows its plans
to use funding.
The pitch text—the area of text below your pitch
video—is where you’ll fll in additional details
about the project, such as a breakdown of the
budget, a synopsis, and cast/crew bios.
Keep it concise and clear and answer a few
simple questions: Who are you? What are you
raising these funds for? How else can people
support your project? Yes, we know you covered
much of this in the pitch video, but sometimes
the best bears repeating. Now is also the time
for details. Before, you were pitching to Harvey
Weinstein in an elevator. Now he’s reading the
script. Ok – not really. He’s reading coverage on
your script. Either way, he needs to know more.
As crowdfunding has gained in popularity, more
campaigns are creating dynamic campaign
experiences to make the ‘pitch text’ more
visually pleasing. Custom headers, infographics,
and additional embedded video content tell a
more complete and exciting campaign narrative.
Whether you go the visual or verbal route, strive
to make your pitch text as personal as possible.
Tell a compelling story of why you’re passionate
about your flm project, and present it in a way
that makes others want to be a part of the story,
Your Perks
1. Standard Defnition (SD) –
“The Mandatories”
• Social Media Shout Out
($5 - $10 to start)
• Digital Download of the Film
($10 - $20)
• DVD/Blu-ray of the Film
($25 - $50)
2. Hi-Defnition (HD) –
“The Unique Experience”
• Livestream a Film Festival Premier
(Life Itself, $25)
• Skype/Google Hangout with the
• Associate/Executive Producer Credit
($1,000 - $5,000+)
As with television’s varied picture quality,
perks – the rewards ofered in exchange for a
contributor’s support – also vary in quality.
3. Three-Dimensional (3-D) –
“The Personal Touch”
• A One-of Ukulele Song for the Funder
(Around Here, $20)
• Postcards written from Paris
(The Last Beat, $100)
• Call “Action” on Set!
Perks, small and large, are a great incentive for funders to support
your project with a set contribution.
Your Goal
First, make sure you understand the main
diference between Indiegogo’s two fundraising
models – you won’t be able to switch once your
campaign goes live:
• Flexible – You keep your contributions
whether or not you hit your goal.
• Fixed – You only keep your contributions if
you hit your goal.
Now, just because your flm will cost $50,000 to
shoot doesn’t mean that $50,000 should be the
amount you set as your goal.
1. How big is your email and social media in-
fuence? If you have a wide following, all the
2. Do you know how you’ll collect the frst 30%
of your funds? Ideally, this portion should
come from your friends, family, and inner
3. If so, can you get that 30% within two to
three days of launch? You’ll need momen-
tum early on. Strangers, on average, do not
contribute to your campaign until they see
it’s reached the 30% mark. In the same way
no one enters an empty restaurant, no one
contributes to an empty campaign.
Based on your answers, you should set your goal
to a number you’re confdent you can hit. For
instance, if you know you can get $15,000 from
your immediate family, friends, and supporters,
and you’re relatively certain you can convince
them to contribute within the frst couple of
days, setting a $50,000 goal should be all right.
If there’s any doubt, though, then lower that
amount to a number you’re sure you can get
30% of from the people you know.
A key thing to remember is that you can
always overfund, and many do! In fact, 89%
of campaigns on Indiegogo do just that, and
by an average of 30%. The philosophy is
simple: “Shoot low, aim high” – set a goal at an
achievable amount, look to hit that number in
half the time, and then “aim high” and surpass it
by the time the campaign closes.
But before all of this, be sure to research the
expenses associated with making and/or
fnishing your flm. Also, take into account any
physical perks you’re ofering, their costs (plus
domestic and international shipping), and any
fees associated with Indiegogo and payment
processing. Add it all into the amount you’re
setting as your goal.
For larger flm projects, you might want to
consider funding in stages and running multiple
campaigns, each with a modest goal. Or, you can
fund various separate aspects of the flm, the
way the Austin flmmakers did for Zero Charisma
and Yakona. Each won Audience Awards at
SXSW in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Building a Host
A host committee is a group of people you are
certain will contribute to your Indiegogo flm
campaign. Most likely, this group will primarily
include your closest friends, family members,
and any supporters of your prior work.
About a week in advance, reach out to these
individuals. Let them know you’re launching an
Indiegogo campaign to help fund your next flm,
and you “want them to be among the frst to join
the team.”
Notice, there was no mention of making a
contribution. That’s for the launch date. By
having these people on board, they will be an
extension of your “team” and could prove your
strongest advocates as share your campaign
with others.
Setting the Duration of
Your Campaign
Longer campaigns don’t necessarily mean you’ll
raise more money. The longer the campaign, the
harder it is to sustain the needed momentum.
Statistically speaking, campaigns that run
between thirty and forty days raise the most
Be sure to leave about three weeks between
the end of your flm campaign and the date
you need your funds by, since processing and
disbursement can take up to that long.
For even more campaign creation advice, check
out the Indiegogo Playbook.
Launching Your Campaign
– And Keeping Momentum
Launching a campaign is just the beginning. The
next step is maintaining your campaign, and to
do that you need to keep momentum going for
the duration of its lifecycle.
The First Act
Act one of any flm is always the same –– it’s the
set up. We are introduced to the main character
with whom we’ll spend the next two hours of
our lives, and we get a sense of the dramatic
question. That question is: will you get the
funding for your flm? Here’s how you answer
A soft launch is when you launch your
Indiegogo flm campaign by quietly reaching
out to your inner circle and securing their
contributions within the frst 48 hours. This
is done so that when you announce a hard
launch (telling EVERYONE you know, article
and blog placement, etc.) people will see your
campaign’s existing momentum and be quick to
The Second Act
Act Two of an Indiegogo flm campaign is when
the real hustle and fow begins. Gone are the
opening night jitters. Here you execute your
planned strategy.

First, activate your outer network. All the Twitter
followers whose lives your tweets have enriched;
every Facebook friend you regularly interact
with; that email list of contacts you’ve compiled
over the years. Get to them and get to them
Start with email outreach. Instead of sending
out a single email “blast” to your contacts,
compose a more personal and direct message
(or use a mail merge). It should explain the
project succinctly and not necessarily solicit a
contribution, but rather elicit a reaction in your
reader to want to be a part of your team and
make this flm with you.
Always include the link to your campaign at the
end, but focus on the invitation, not the ask. You
will quickly see the impact.
Keep being social. How do you do this?
• Find a balance between sharing your
campaign and other informative content.
• Tweet and post photos and videos as some of
your promotional material.
• Always include your Indiegogo link.
• Don’t go nuts with hashtags –– Nothing spells
#newb like #hashtageverything.
• And again, do not spam people. Screaming
the word “help” in your posts is desperation.
No one supports desperation.
Try to land traditional press and PR. You’ll want
to draft a press release and compile a list of
bloggers and infuencers in the flm space who
have an audience that might be interested in
your story and your flm campaign. You can also
reach out to newspapers, TV and radio. Please
note: press only gets you more attention, and
should not be relied on to convert page views to
contributions. That’s your job.
1. There’s a certain amount of money already
raised (momentum).
2. There’s a story to tell besides “flmmaker
launches a campaign.”
This is why it’s important to seek out press and
PR at the proper time in a campaign’s lifespan,
usually once the 30% mark is hit.
Try to bring your campaign ofine. Think of
ways to spread the word in the real world. You
could attend meetups or other events armed
with a pocketful of campaign cards to hand out,
each complete with your campaign’s short URL.
Always start a conversation frst, then share
your campaign’s information.
Another way to further engage your crowd is
a referral contest, where each of your funders
shares your campaign to their networks either
through tweets, a short link, or the Indiegogo
“Share” tool. Whoever brings in the most people
or, better yet, the most funding, is awarded a
1. The referrer must be logged into their Indi-
egogo account.
2. They need to use the campaign’s short link
or the “Share” tools below your pitch video.
The Third Act
A flm’s third act is when we start to question
whether or not our hero will overcome.
The same holds true with an Indiegogo flm
campaign. People are watching. To convert
those who haven’t contributed, try creating a
sense of urgency. This should occur when you
have one week or less left in the campaign. If you
push urgency with over a week remaining, you
may be crying wolf.
It’s also in your best interest to add new perks.
Twenty percent of repeat contributions are for
perks that were added after the campaign went
live. You can also remove old perks that haven’t
sold to help keep the campaign looking fresh.
Don’t forget to use the update feature on your
campaign. On average you should update
every THREE days. Otherwise, you risk people
forgetting about your project. Feed the beast!
Updates get posted to your campaign and
are emailed to everyone who has already
contributed or is currently following your
campaign. Post about campaign progress,
new videos – anything your audience might
be interested in. Be sure to call out any major
funding milestone: $25K, $50K . . . $100K!
Always think outside the box. Running a
“routine” campaign is boring. Don’t be boring!
Try a stunt in the closing days or hours of your
campaign, such as dance-a-thons, live streams,
or event parties. Often, spending a little extra
for an event will deliver many times over. The
Young Turks raised nearly 100K in their 24-hour
stream-a-thon. Maybe you can, too!
What do you do when you hit your goal? If you’ve
played your cards right, you’ll hit your goal
quickly. When you do, it’s good to have stretch
goals ready. These are additional goals detailing
what you can do with more funding, which will
entice your crowd to continue contributing.
Be modest, though. Hitting $50,000 and
then stating you want to go for $200,000 to
complete the flm doesn’t work. Instead, after
you hit $50,000, set your frst stretch goal at
an easily reachable number like $60,000. Then
set the next one at $75,000, and with your third
one, go long and go for $100,0000. Of course,
this all depends on how many days you have left
in your campaign.
For even more advice on running a campaign,
check out the Indiegogo Playbook.
This is the end. Your campaign has ideally
reached its goal. If not, regardless of your
funding model, you should update your crowd
and thank them again. Remember, people get
excited about perks. If you believe there will
be delays in fulfllment, let them know. People
are surprisingly patient as long as they know
they’re going to have to wait and that you’re
making progress. It’s of paramount importance
to continue nurturing the relationships you’ve
established with your contributors and followers
through email and social media, as they’re
now your community. Indiegogo is all about
Wrapping it
Do have a $25 perk.
It’s the most claimed perk level.
Do your research.
Search the site. Find flms similar to yours, and
look at their results. Figure out what they did
right, and what they did wrong. Keep in mind
that well-funded campaigns take many funders,
not just a high amount of funds raised. $50,000
raised from only 4 funders is not a well-run
Do host online events.
Reddit AMAs, Tweetchats, Google Hangouts on
Air, or even a YouTube live stream hosted by the
Indiegogo video player.
Do seek out potential large, sponsor-
driven contributors.
Think of a brand or business that might go in for
that 10K+ “executive producer” perk just to have
their name mentioned.
Do keep updating your campaign page.
It exists in perpetuity and will allow you to
continue updating your contributors all the way
to the flm’s release.
Don’t overuse the words “help” and
Remember, no panhandling! You don’t want to
come across as desperate.
Don’t spam via email, social media, or
The more you nag, the less you bag.
Don’t forget to encourage your crowd to
share, tweet, post, and email.
Don’t send passive messages.
Each tweet or Facebook post should either
inform or be a direct call to action. Ambiguity
breeds nothing worthwhile.
Don’t be a stranger.
Stay in touch with Indiegogo. We’re here to
support you through the full lifecycle of your
project. We also want to hear your success
Do Don’t
• IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project)
• IDA (International Documentary Association)
• Austin Film Society / Twitch Film
• Columbia University
• Indiereign
Partnering with one of these groups BEFORE
a source of added promotion and support,
thanks to their branded pages on Indiegogo.
You can either be a current member of these
organizations, or an alumnus. If the organization
is a 501c3, you will receive a 25% discount on
your fees. If it’s a standard partner, you will
receive a 10% discount on fees.
Keep VHX and Slated in mind.
VHX is a self-distribution site that ofers free
digital download fulfllment, among many other
services. In other words, if you have a digital
download perk for $25, someone would be able
to download it using VHX on your own website.
Slated is a partner that introduces flmmakers to
angel equity investors. The majority of feature
flmmakers on Indiegogo should only seek 10-
25% of their overall budget through a campaign.
Successfully raising these lower amounts on
Indiegogo while gaining creative validation is
what will aford you the opportunity to raise the
rest of your budget via traditional equity.
Crowdfunding News
A growing variety of flm and digital news sites
have created their own crowdfunding columns.
When reaching out to these sites, keep in mind
that you’re not the only one. Be direct and
personable, and make the site’s editor realize
your project is special.
• Twitch Film
• Indiewire (see their “Project of the Day/
• Tubeflter
• Bloody Disgusting
• io9
Pitch Video Examples
• The Body
• Coatwolf
• Dr. Professor’s Thesis of Evil
Indiegogo Resources
• Playbook
• Blog
• Facebook
• Twitter
• Start your campaign
• Browse flm campaigns